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From Middle French indulgence, or its source, Latin indulgentia.


  • IPA(key): /ɪnˈdʌld͡ʒəns/
  • (file)
  • Hyphenation: in‧dul‧gence


indulgence (countable and uncountable, plural indulgences)

  1. the act of indulging
    • (Can we date this quote by Hammond and provide title, author’s full name, and other details?)
      They err, that through indulgence to others, or fondness to any sin in themselves, substitute for repentance anything less.
    • 1922, Dhalla, Maneckji Nusservanji, Zoroastrian Civilization[1], page 220:
      As indulgence in several wives depended mainly on the length of a man's purse, the poor naturally contented themselves with monogamy.
  2. tolerance
  3. catering to someone's every desire
  4. something in which someone indulges
  5. An indulgent act; favour granted; gratification.
    • (Can we date this quote by Rogers and provide title, author’s full name, and other details?)
      If all these gracious indulgences are without any effect on us, we must perish in our own folly.
  6. (Roman Catholicism) A pardon or release from the expectation of punishment in purgatory, after the sinner has been granted absolution.
    • 2009, Diarmaid MacCulloch, A History of Christianity, Penguin 2010, p. 555:
      To understand how indulgences were intended to work depends on linking together a number of assumptions about sin and the afterlife, each of which individually makes considerable sense.

Related terms[edit]



indulgence (third-person singular simple present indulgences, present participle indulgencing, simple past and past participle indulgenced)

  1. (transitive, Roman Catholic Church) to provide with an indulgence